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Saunders Honda Stadium*
Chester City v
Peterborough United
Saturday December 8th, 2007, 3pm
League Two
By Ian Woodhams
(Peterborough United fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be)?

I was looking forward to visiting the ground as I had never been before. I wasn't looking forward to the train journey or the expected run from the ground to catch our train home.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking
? 

The journey from Peterborough was a little later than I would have hoped for and providing everything went to plan, as we should arrive in Chester an hour before kick off. Three train journeys later and we arrived on time, which was a massive relief. We jumped in a taxi outside the station which cost £6 and was dropped off outside the ground.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

We headed for the ‘supporters club’ in an effort to get out of the torrential rain and to have a quick drink before the match. We were asked if we were members and we explained that we were indeed away supporters. The guy on the door asked how many of us there were and said we could enter after paying £1. This was very much appreciated and we mixed with both sets of fans already in there.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground.

 

My first impressions of the ground was that it was much smaller than I had expected. The away end had seats and the roof appeared to fall short in covering it all. I noticed that the home end behind the goal was traditional terracing and I felt rather envious of the people stood there. We were also allocated part of the West Stand but only a handful of posh fans were located there.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

 

The game itself was a poor affair in awful conditions. Both teams struggled to cope with the heavy pitch and passing was erratic at best. Chester had the better chances and took the lead seconds before half time, which was probably deserved on balance of play. In the second half Posh upped their game and piled on the pressure. We had a good penalty shout turned down and it looked like it was going to be ‘one of those days’. Thankfully Aaron McLean ‘the goal machine’ skewed a shot into the corner of the net on 80 minutes, much to the delight of the travelling faithful. Delight turned to euphoria 5 minutes later when substitute Jeff Hughes took a swan-dive in the area and the referee made amends for his earlier poor decision to point towards the spot. Craig Mackail-Smith picked up the ball and lashed it home to give us all 3 points.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

 

Getting away from the ground meant we had to jog a couple of miles to catch our train. Being twice the age of my younger companions, I ended up lagging behind and decided to walk. I asked for directions and everyone took pity on a middle-aged man looking like he was about to have a heart attack and pointed me in the right direction. I walked onto the train just as the guard was blowing his whistle, which was a huge relief to me and a mild source of amusement to the other lads.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out

 

Excellent day out bearing in mind we spent more of the day on trains as we did off them. The result was far better than expected and the hospitality fantastic. One thing that I did notice during my laboured walk to the station, was how beautiful the town centre of Chester was. I shall definitely be going back and hopefully next time I will arrive earlier to savour parts of the town. The only downside to the whole day was the cancellation of one of our trains from Birmingham, which meant we had to hang around for an extra hour on the way back.


* Saunders Honda were the stadium sponsors at this time. It was previously called the Deva Stadium, but is now called the Exacta Stadium under a new corporate sponsorship.


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